YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Turkey Is Upset on Bustling Day

May 01, 2003|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Among the more than two dozen international matches played worldwide Wednesday were seven games involving eight teams ranked in FIFA's top 10. Of the eight teams, only one, World Cup semifinalist Turkey, stumbled.

Here's how soccer's leading nations fared:

* Top-ranked Brazil failed to give Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira his first victory in his third stint in charge when it was held to a 0-0 tie by ninth-ranked Mexico at near-sold-out Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara in a game that might have ended 4-4 had both teams taken advantage of their many scoring chances. Diego, 18, made his debut for Brazil as a late substitute.

* Second-ranked Spain rolled to 4-0 victory over Ecuador in Madrid behind a hat trick by Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes, whose three goals brought his total to 20 in only 28 international games. Midfielder Javi de Pedro opened the scoring for Spain, which is unbeaten in nine games since Inaki Saez took over as coach after the 2002 World Cup.

* Third-ranked France swamped Egypt, 5-0, in Paris in the first meeting between the countries. Thierry Henry scored twice, with Arsenal teammate Robert Pires adding another and Djibril Cisse and Olivier Kapo also scoring. The match also saw French captain Marcel Desailly, 34, become his country's all-time leader with 104 international games, one more than former captain Didier Deschamps.

* Fourth-ranked Germany, fielding a makeshift lineup without many of its top players, managed to overcome Serbia and Montenegro, 1-0, in Bremen, Germany, only because of an error by Serbia and Montenegro goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric, who meant to punch away a 25-yard shot by German midfielder Sebastian Kehl but instead deflected the ball into his own net.

* The fifth-ranked Netherlands extended its unbeaten streak to 14 games under Coach Dick Advocaat when it played 2004 European Championship host Portugal to a 1-1 tie in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Patrick Kluivert tied Dennis Bergkamp's Dutch record when he scored his 37th international goal, but Portugal's Simao Sabrosa tied it up on a shot that deflected off a defender.

* Sixth-ranked Argentina made a long-range foray to Africa, where it defeated Libya, 3-1, in front of 55,000 in Tripoli. Javier Saviola gave the South Americans the lead in the first half, but Libya tied it up on a 60th-minute goal by Tareq Taieb before Juan Roman Riquelme and Pablo Aimar each scored in the last half-hour. Al-Saadi Kadafi, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi, played for Libya.

* Seventh-ranked England was idle, but eighth-ranked Turkey continued its downward spiral when its was thrashed, 4-0, by the Czech Republic, which scored all its goals in the first 38 minutes in the Czech city of Teplice. Tomas Rosicky's first-minute goal was followed by Jan Koller's 24th in 41 internationals and two more by the Liverpool duo of Vladimir Smicer and Milan Baros. The Czechs are unbeaten in 14 games under Coach Karel Bruckner.

The 10th-ranked United States was idle but plays Mexico on May 8 in Houston, where U.S. Soccer said Wednesday that ticket sales have surpassed 45,000.

In other games involving CONCACAF teams Wednesday, Jamaica was held to a 0-0 tie by South Africa in Cape Town, South Africa; Trinidad and Tobago was beaten, 3-0, by Venezuela in San Cristobal, Venezuela; Costa Rica was edged, 1-0, by Chile in Santiago, Chile, and Honduras and Colombia fought to a 0-0 tie at the Orange Bowl in Miami.

Other noteworthy performances Wednesday included Hungary's 5-1 demolition of Luxembourg in Budapest, where Imre Szabics scored twice in his debut; Austria's 2-0 victory over floundering Scotland in Glasgow, and Croatia's 2-1 upset of Sweden in Stockholm.

Also, Italy ended Switzerland's six-match unbeaten streak with a 2-1 victory in Geneva in a game that marked the inauguration of the Stade de Geneva, FC Servette's new stadium, and Ireland edged Norway, 1-0, in Dublin.

Liechtenstein scored only the third victory in its history when it beat Saudi Arabia, 1-0, in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.

Euro 2004

There were five qualifying matches for the 2004 European Championship in Portugal played on Wednesday, with the most significant of the results being Georgia's 1-0 victory over Russia in Tbilisi on a goal by Malkhaz Asatiani, who was making his international debut.

The loss was Russia's second in a row in qualifying and complicates its chances of reaching Euro 2004 next summer.

In other qualifying games, Israel shut out Cyprus, 2-0, in Palermo, Sicily; Latvia blanked San Marino, 3-0, in Riga, Latvia; Estonia beat Andorra, 2-0, in Andorra la Vella, Andorra, and Slovenia defeated Malta, 3-1, in Valletta, Malta.

Quick Passes

Los Angeles Times Articles